Either making the silly mistake of not releasing it prior to/in the midst of World Cup fever, or a bit of release date genius by helping those still coming down from Brazil ’14, The Unbeatables is an animated family movie that, thankfully, doesn’t aim solely for those already in love with the beautiful game.
madeo (voiced by Harry Potter’s Rupert Grint) is telling the story to his young son of his magical foosball players, and how they saved their town. Years earlier, Amadeo beat Flash (Buffy’s Anthony Head) in a friendly game, and Flash ran off in anger only to return years later as a world famous soccer player. In the interim he bought the deeds to the town from the mayor (that’s not really how that works…) and is going to tear it down to build a football stadium and museum. In a moment of desperation, Amadeo discovers that his foosball players have come to life, and they challenge Flash to one last game – of actual football – for the rights of the town to be returned to the townsfolk.
riginally a foreign language production, The Unbeatable suffers from particularly poor lip-sync reading, being highly reminiscent of a Kinder Bueno advert. Then there’s the tone of the movie, which goes from being grounded with a sprinkling of magic, to totally over-the-top and bizarre, including scenes with hyper-aggressive rats and weird scientific laboratories.
here are one or two jokes aimed at the parents in the audience (“It’s okay, you can trust me, I work for FIFA!”) and things actually do get pretty exciting during the prolonged climactic soccer match, with the humans playing their game as the foosball players play another underfoot.
verall this is very much a movie of two halves, with things only really picking up interest during the last 45 minutes. Or to continue straining the soccer analogies, this isn’t really the equivalent of an FA Cup Final, more a friendly match between two local teams. Mildly entertaining, but not exactly unmissable.